Showing posts from December, 2008

Non-profit of the Month: December 2008 - Living Water International

At youth group, we saw a video produced by Advent Conspiracy which is embedded above.

Definitely have been thinking about spending a little less for Christmas because of the current economic uncertainties. And after the video, what's really important is the people in our lives. And after watching the video, am going to be giving to Living Water International.

Here in the USA, we drink bottled water, fizzy water, water from the Brita filter, water from various home filter systems and water from the tap. We think nothing of it. Elsewhere, people get sick and die from the water.
Give money, get clean water, save lives.How about it?

Here is the "about us" page at LWI.
Excerpt:Our Mission:
Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water, and to experience "living water" - the gospel of Jesus Christ - which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.

LWI is a leading implementer of participatory, co…

Sports: An NCAA Football Playoff Scenario

ESPN has placed on the web a playoff simulator.


Here is what I plugged in ...

And this is what the simulator produced ...

Life: Don't eat left over food that has sat in the car for more than one hour on a hot day

Since I'm in a confessional mood having acknowledged I was duped by free credit I have to confess a really stupid thing I did that landed me in the hospital.

Southern California weather can be hot and it was recently and I had left over food in my car. Well, I ate it later on and in a matter of hours I was experiencing extreme abdominal cramps. I was balled up like a shrimp on the bathroom floor waiting to either vomit or have diarrhea. After 90 minutes of this, I realized this was NOT good and called my brother to take me to the hospital. Alas, this was 2:30AM Monday morning a few weeks back.

My wonderful brother and sister-in-law came to get me and managed to drag me into the car as I was in so much pain I could barely walk. We drove to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center emergency room where I went in 2004 and 2005 for a bowel obstruction. In 2004, I had surgery for it. In 2005, the MDs decided to see if it would resolve without surgery.

Given my medical history, they we…

Business: FreeCreditReport.Com is not free

We have all seen the ads on TV or heard them on the radio for FreeCreditReport.Com.

Well, I tried it and indeed got my credit report. What I didn't realize but now looking back, there was "fine print" everywhere that it wasn't really free.

Right there on their home page is this:IMPORTANT INFORMATION
When you order your free report here, you will begin your free trial membership in Triple AdvantageSM Credit Monitoring. If you don't cancel your membership within the 7-day trial period**, you will be billed $14.95 for each month that you continue your membership.I noticed the other day a $14.95 charge by "#CIC*TRIPLE ADVANTAGE" on my credit card and wondered what was that?

A quick search on the internet revealed that many people did what I did.

The articles described how people had a very hard time getting the service cancelled.

In my case, I've seen one billing but for others who don't check their statements carefully, they wind up paying for this se…

Culture: the things you can see on Youtube - mouse obstacle course!

The music is the Wide World of Sports Fanfare (I think?) followed by the Olympics Fanfare by John Williams!

Music: Freeway Philharmonic

Just saw a delightful and moving documentary, Freeway Philharmonic, about freelance classical musicians.

The film follows 7 musicians in their lives in and out of music.

Its a tough way to make a living but their passion for music compels them to be on the road stitching together playing and teaching gigs all over California.

As a orchestra concert goer, the film gave me a greater appreciation for the craft and the commitment they have.

Life: Private Monica Brown Saving

Heard on the radio the story of Army Medic Monica Brown and her actions to help save two soldiers after their convey was ambushed in remote Afghanistan. Below is the video clip of the 60 Minutes feature story about Private Brown.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Technology: AOL Hometown has been shut down

I signed onto AOL back in 1994 and hosted my 1993 and 1997 road trips on their FTP space. I recently discovered the pages were gone!

Some searching uncovered this message:Hometown Has Been Shutdown

Posted on Nov 6th 2008 1:30PM by Kelly Wilson

Dear AOL Hometown user,

We're sorry to inform you that as of Oct. 31, 2008, AOL® Hometown was shut down permanently. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


The AOL Hometown TeamMore web searching revealed many irrate AOL Hometown users and various reports of attempts to recover the pages.

At the moment, I'm attempting to off-load my photos and html scripts by FTP.

Connect to the server With your FTP program enter your user name and password. Off-load your files.

I'm finding the process to be extremely slow. I'm not sure if it is the FTP program I'm using or the bandwidth to the ftp servers at AOL are just slow.

Another option I found by web surfing is to use Way Back Machine.…

Faith: Viral Christianity?

Image from:

As one of the Fan lab alumni, I think about viruses and how they do what they do. It is that kind of function and structure process thinking that I learned in graduate school that I carry into my continuing life as a medical researcher now studying vitamin D.

As a Jesus follower, I am drawn to the metaphor that it may offer: what viral - minimal - Christianity might look like?

Tim and I kicked around some ideas at the Fan lab reunion BBQ at the beach a while back. Since then, I've periodically let my mind wander at the possibilities of weaving "a story" using the simple retrovirus above as the hooks to hang the story.

Admittedly, analogies and metaphors do have limits but they can be helpful in stirring up thoughts.

And so here are some ideas to consider ...

From the diagram there are 5 components: RNA, gag, pol, env, lipid bilayer.

The RNA is the message. The very core of the virus. No RNA; no noth…